Raised on lakes and rivers, angler learns to love saltwater fishing
Kay Sandor is making good on her New Year’s resolution, which is to fish once a month. After Hurricane Ike in 2008, and losing her fishing equipment, Sandor had fallen out of the habit and decided this would be the year she would get back to it, she said. It is, after all, in her genes.
Sandor comes from a family in which fishing is a woman’s sport. She’s a second generation fisherwoman who grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Sandor’s mother taught her how to fish in the rivers and lakes of that area, and continued the tradition by teaching Sandor’s children.
Sandor moved to Galveston in 1991 and is retired faculty from the University of Texas Medical Branch School of Nursing. She also is a psychotherapist and continues to run her small, private practice.
She shares some of her fishing expertise:
Q: Do you prefer freshwater or saltwater fishing?
A: I haven’t been fishing in fresh water in a long, long time because I’ve been here so long. But I do have to say that I like saltwater fishing on the Gulf Coast. I would fish a lot when I first came here, and I had to learn a few things about saltwater fishing. In the lakes and rivers where I fished in Michigan, we used worms as bait, but here there is such a variety of bait.
Q: Speaking of bait, what do you fish for and what bait do you use?
A: My favorite fish is speckled trout, and for that, I use live shrimp. My second favorite fish is flounder. I use piggy perch or a Flounder Pounder lure.
Q: What kind of fishing rod do you use?
A: I don’t have a specific rod or reel, and it’s not very expensive — I just got it at Academy. But I know some people do have very expensive equipment. I’m not so much about that. I’m really about getting out in the water, on the water, and if I’m lucky — catching fish.
Q: Where do you like to fish?
A: I’m trying to go to different spots on the island, so I’ve been to the new park on Offatts Bayou (Lee and Joe Jamail Bay Park), Jimmy’s (Galveston Fishing Pier) and Galveston Boat Club.
My favorite spot is when the speckled trout are running. I do some surf fishing right in front of Denny’s (14th and 15th streets on the seawall). I and about 100 other fishermen. When the speckled trout run, most everybody knows about it. I always have good luck there when the water is flat and the water temperature is good.
Q: Do you have a memorable fish tale?
A: Once, I was fishing where the Pleasure Pier is now, before Ike, and I snagged a Spanish mackerel by the fin. They are very difficult to catch, and I had to fight it a little bit. I was able to pull it in and found that I had hooked him in the gill, so it was kind of interesting.
Q: Does fishing relax you?
A: I am very much into self-care and do take time for meditation. Fishing is a meditation, I think. For me, it doesn’t matter if I catch a fish or not because I have been out in nature, in water, which is always refreshing and renewing for me. You know, you can go watch the sunset somewhere, but if you are in the water trying to catch fish, oh, the sunsets are so much better.
Kay Sandor shares her favorite fish recipe:
Baked Speckled Trout
Speckled trout, cut open and cleaned (gutted)
Fresh sprig of rosemary (3 to 4 inches long)
Lemon, 3 to 4 thinly sliced pieces
Salt and pepper
Set oven to 350 F. Spray baking dish with nonstick spray. Rinse trout and pat dry with a paper towel. Place in baking dish.
Sprinkle belly with salt and pepper and add sprig of rosemary. Place the sliced lemon along the top of fish. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until fish flakes easily.